To the Sea: Saving the Dugong is the second in a series of conservation books for children of primary school ages in Thailand, those in Thai schools and Thai and foreign children in international schools. Its messages, however, are universal and could apply to many countries around the world.
The book has the same major characters as the first in the series, The Return of the Forest: the little boy Yeunyong and his younger sister Lamduan. It takes place in the south of Thailand, in Trang Province, on the island of Koh Libong.
Through a fanciful story which transports the reader to the underwater world of the sea, and familiarises him/her with its beauty and mysteries, the book addresses such marine conservation issues as love of and respect for, and conserving, the creatures of the sea, over-fishing, poaching, the extinction of wild animal species, the dumping of waste and effluent water into the sea, and plastic pollution.
The story takes place on the island of Koh Libong, and its surrounding Andaman Sea environment. A focus is the children’s contact with an endangered sea mammal, the dugong, and their relationship with it. The vehicle for the conservation messages is an adventure story which sees Yeunyong and Lamduan drawing up courage, strength and resourcefulness to confront a poacher and later to bring change to him and his fishing village. An auxiliary message is compassion for, and learning from, those who are less fortunate in the world, and those who live in poverty.
This is not meant to be a Science studies book, to capture all aspects of the geography and zoology of the marine habitats of southern Thailand. The intention is to engender a love of and respect for Nature and all creatures on Earth, and to realise that as one individual, one has the power to create change and to act to protect the environment.
The book is beautifully and richly illustrated in full colour, available in hard and soft cover, with English and Thai versions. The first book in the series, The Return of the Forest, has now been purchased for the libraries of ten international schools in Chiang Mai, and is on sale in bookshops in Chiang Mai.
54 pages, full colour
Copyright Linda Pfotenhauer